Xiaomi has made a living selling smartphones, but starting next month, it will look to generate a new stream of revenue from PC gamers with its Mi Gaming Laptop, its first high performance laptop and only its second notebook model ever.
The Mi Gaming Laptop features a 15.6-inch display with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution. Xiaomi touts a "wide color gamut" display, and "ultra-thin bezels" measuring 9.9mm.
Xiaomi is planning to offer two configurations, both with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. The lower end model features a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid state drive paired with a 1TB HDD, whereas the higher end model bumps the specs up to a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB version) with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD paired with the same HDD.
"Mi Gaming Laptop has a minimalist design, along with a keyboard that supports 16 million colors over four zones, and anti-ghosting with 30-key rollover for precise and accurate gaming input. Five programmable keys are located on the left side for quick access to important functions," Xiaomi says.
To keep things cool inside, Xiaomi is relying on large heatpipes, a pair of 12V cooling fans, and four air vents. According to TheNextWeb, there's a 'Tornado' button to crank up the fan speed, resulting in a temperature drop of 3-5C after around 10 minutes of ramping up the cooling.
From the press renders we've seen, it looks like Xiaomi is borrowing Razer's design aesthetic, though the Mi Gaming Laptop is not a carbon copy of the Blade (less so than its Mi Notebook Air is of Apple's MacBook Air, anyway). However, it does have an aluminum chassis, RGB keyboard, dedicated gaming keys, and a 20.9mm profile.
Connectivity comes in the form of four USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports, a single HDMI output, and a 3.5mm audio jack with a headphone amp.
Xiaomi is hoping to attract gamers with aggressive price points, at least in China. The lower end model will be available for 5,999 Chines yuan, which converts to around $955 or £675, and the higher end SKU will sell for 8,999 yuan (around $1,435 or £1,010).
In China, those prices undercut some of the competition—according to VentureBeat, Xiaomi was eager to point out the price disparity between its Mi Gaming Laptop and a similarly configured Alienware system that sells for 17,699 yuan (around $2,810, or £1,996). In that regard, the Mi Gaming Laptop looks like a fantastic deal.
In the US, however, the pricing is on par with what the competition is offering. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if Xiaomi decides to target markets outside of China, it may need to shoot for even lower price points to make a splash.